Last night, as the darkness closed over the river and the haunting melody of Black Rider stole its way into our collective consciousness I thought of the other octogenarian I’d seen at Glasgow’s Armadillo a few years back. That night we’d gone through a few opening turns before we got to The Killer. Jerry Lee Lewis’s final tour was less of a triumph than I’d hoped for, yet I was still glad to be there. Among the old Teddy Boys and Girls on unreliable legs, the country cousins and the rock ‘n’ rollers holding out for the last hurrah I felt like a bemused outsider; intrigued, but slightly out of my comfort zone. It turned out to be the last goodbye and a few days ago the world finally said farewell to one of the great pioneers of modern music.
It probably occurred to a few of those in Glasgow, Manchester, Nottingham and London on recent nights that this may be the last Bob Dylan show they are likely to see. He is now eight one years old and although there’s a vibrancy in these late years, and it would only be a bonus to expect an encore. So it was we rejoiced in the beautiful interpretations from Rough and Rowdy Ways, some unexpected cuts from Nashville Skyline and some classic songwriting via the pen of Johnny Mercer. I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed, and it was great to be among so many generations still in thrall to the songs of Bob Dylan. If he does make it back I think we’d all like to be there with him again.
So it is on this week’s AC I’ll play some highlights from the Dylan show as well as a country moment or two from the late Jerry Lee Lewis. I’ll also be bringing you a very special session and conversation from Caitlyn Smith. Caitlyn was in Glasgow recently for Country Music week and before her show she managed to make time to come in and play a few songs for us and spend some time telling me her story. Caitlyn has an A List songwriting pedigree. She’s written songs with some of the best in the Nashville songwriting community and had successful cuts with the very best of artists. Ruston Kelly, Lori Mckenna and Miley Cyrus have all benefitted from Caitlyn’s artistry and her best know song was covered by two country giants, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. As well as all this her own career has been developing and she’s becoming as well known for her own records as much as she is from her burgeoning covers catalogue. We recorded our conversation and session in Studio One downstairs at Pacific Quay and it was our pleasure to have a guest with us to perform live tracks on the show.
You can hear this packed edition of Another Country this week from five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland FM or on BBC Sounds at a time and place of your own choosing. Either way, I’d love to have your company, so join me if you can.